A Key to Grocery Shopping 


Do NOT be fooled by labels that make a product sound like a healthy choice. Peter Pan’s “Simply Ground” peanut butter is anything but “simply ground”. Hydrogenated oils (aka trans fat) are one of the very top ingredients to avoid. I always read the labels of new products I’m considering buying, so I know what I’m fueling (or inhibiting) my body with.

And true, simply ground peanuts taste much better than Peter Pan’s anyways! 😊

Slow Cooker Brown Rice – Serve or Freeze!

slow cooker brown rice 
I shared this super simple recipe on my Whole to the Core Facebook page, and I’ve had to search for it on there several times because I always want to make sure I have the ratio of rice to water correct (even though I should remember!). It is much more difficult to find that way, so I finally decided to make it a post. I will be heading home soon and starting this. It will go into our soup for tomorrow, and I will be freezing the rest for other meals like fried rice  or to accompany chicken teriyaki.

Slow Cooker Brown Rice

  • 2 cups rice
  • 4 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Oil the crockpot, place the rice in, pour in water, and cook on high for 2 hours. Season/flavor for use immediately or freeze in batches for future dishes. If freezing, pour into a large, glass baking pan to allow rice to cool quickly and then portion the rice and freeze in batches.

Warm Beet and Avocado Salad 



This tower of tastiness was inspired by a dish I had in NYC.  The restaurant where I ordered this served it cold, but I knew that it would be better with warm beets to melt the avocado, making it extra creamy. With that said, here is my twist on their idea. 

Warm Beet and Avocado Salad 

  • 2 medium beets, peeled and sliced into circles

  • 1 avocado, sliced

  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic

  • Olive oil

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 400. Lay beets on a baking sheet and spray with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper and sprinkle with chopped garlic. Roast for 20-25 minutes in the oven or until fork tender. 

As the beets become close to being done, slice the avocado. When beets are finished,  begin layering the salad with a beet slice followed by 2-3 avocado slices on top of the beet. Repeat this layering until it’s 5-6 layers high. I sometimes garnish with crunched up kale chips when I have them made. Makes 3-4 servings.

*Beets and avocados are high in Folate (great for women in their child-bearing years!) Beets are also a great liver cleanser and avocados are great for eye and bone health.

Spaghetti Squash Muffins

My most viewed post of 2015…all natural sugars (and very little at that) to make these a “sweet treat”.

Whole to the Core Blog

Spaghetti squash isn’t just made for dinner. How about dessert or breakfast? Itweakedthis recipe that Ifound on cooks.com and served this to my kids. They ate them up and finished off the batch within a few days. My oldest, Aleyah, privately cornered me and asked what I had hiddenin there. Pretty smart girl! I answered her honestly, and she smiled and commented on how much she liked them (still🙂 ). Now you can make up a batch of spaghetti squash for yourpomadora saucefor the night and use the rest for your breakfast the next morning.


Spaghetti Squash Muffins

1 1/4 cup whole grain flour

1 Teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Dash salt

1 Tablespoon ground flax (or 1 egg)

2 Tablespoons honey

2 Tablespoons coconut oil, extra light virgin olive oil, or nut oil

1 small orange, zested and juiced

1/4 – 1/3 cup almond…

View original post 100 more words

Christmas Day – The Christ Candle

Whole to the Core Blog

Today we celebrate God’s gift to us- Jesus Christ. May you and your family have a blessed Christmas Day, and may the love of Jesus fill your heart throughout the new year!

John 1:1-14
The Word Became Flesh

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.

Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.

There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. The true…

View original post 118 more words

Celebrating Advent – The Bethlehem Candle: the Candle of Peace

Whole to the Core Blog

Celebrating the Second Sunday of Advent The Bethlehem Candle- the candle of Peace:


“But as for you, Bethlehem Ephrathah, Too little to be among the clans of Judah, From you One will go forth for Me to be ruler in Israel. His goings forth are from long ago, From the days of eternity.” Micah 5:2-5

In those days Caesar Augustus issued a decree that a census should be taken of the entire Roman world. (This was the first census that took place while Quirinius was governor of Syria.) And everyone went to their own town to register.

 So Joseph also went up from the town of Nazareth in Galilee to Judea, to Bethlehem the town of David, because he belonged to the house and line of David. He went there to register with Mary, who was pledged to be married to him and was expecting a child. While they were…

View original post 41 more words

Celebrating Advent – The Prophet’s Candle, The Candle of Hope

Whole to the Core Blog

Today we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent. This week’s candle is called the Prophet’s  Candle, and it represents the hope God gave to His people with the promise of the coming Messiah.

 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.
And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,
the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and might,
the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.

Isaiah 11:1-2

There are over 300 Old Testament prophecies fulfilled in Jesus.

Mathematically speaking, here are the odds of any one person fulfilling these 300+ prophecies:

  • 1 person fulfilling 8 prophecies: 1 in 100,000,000,000,000,000
  • 1 person fulfilling 48 prophecies: 1 chance in 10 to the 157th power
  • 1 person fulfilling 300+ prophecies: Providence at it’s best!

“The days are coming,” declares the Lord,

View original post 55 more words

Sluggish From Sugar? Challenge Yourself!


I just read this post from Tosca Reno about finding your trigger “food”, some steps to take to eliminate it from your diet, and the results you will most likely see.  I see it is such a logical progression and a fairly easy challenge as it is just one food at a time. Hope this helps if you’re struggling in trying to clean up your food choices! 

From Tosca Reno’s June 3, 2015 blog post:

What do you eat today that makes you feel brain addled, foggy, irritable, inflamed and just plain sick? What food do you turn to every time to “solve” your problems? How do you ingest sugar and other anti-foods on a daily basis? Is it during breakfast, while watching a movie or driving? Where does the drug sugar live in your life? And what are the consequences? Are you ill? Depressed? Moody? Overweight? Do you drink too much (alcohol is sugar)? What extent would you go to, to reclaim your birthright of optimal health?

Provocative questions. Easy answer.

1. Name that one food, your sugar trigger.
2. Remove it from your diet today.
3. Ride out the tough few days of detoxing, because they will be there but they pass.
4. Eat Clean.
5. Drink more water.
6. Eat more healthy fat.
7. Feel the energy returning.
8. Watch the inflammation, illness, stiffness, foul moods and depression lift.
9. Watch your brain clear up as the Sugar Fog lifts.
10. Re-experience what it feels like to be truly alive.
My prediction is that soon we will see a robust campaign to warn against the evils of sugar. It will penetrate all we do, but consider this writing your early warning.

Grilled Caesar Broccoli Steaks 

When I took my oldest, Aleyah, to Season’s 52 a few weeks ago, I ordered this side dish simply because I saw it on someone else’s plate as we walked by to be seated. They gave be two large “steaks”, and I was kind enough to save one to share with my mom.

I love to try to recreate favorite dishes from the restaurants I visit, so I grilled these up over the weekend, and 2 out of 3 of my kids love them. (The non-lover of the grilled broccoli will eat raw and steamed broccoli so I’m not complaining that she didn’t like this as much. Just leaves more for me!) I also grilled up some onion and tomato slices to accompany this.IMG_2571

  Grilled Caesar Broccoli Steaks 

Slice broccoli lengthwise into 4-5 “steaks”. Spray with olive oil and lightly season with salt and pepper. Place on a medium high grill. Grill 7-8 minutes on the first side, flip, and grill an additional 7-8 minutes or until desired tenderness is reached. Place on a serving platter and brush with dressing. Serve warm.

Other recipes you may enjoy:

Homemade Honey Mustard Pretzels


If you buy store bought honey mustard pretzels (or any flavored pretzels), you’ll find MSG, modified starches, hydrogenated oils, and other dirty ingredients. We made our own recipe with pretzels and 6 other real ingredients, and they won the approval of the whole household.

 Honey Mustard Pretzels

  • 7 cups organic bite size pretzels

  • 3 tablespoons honey

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard

  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard

  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

    In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together except the pretzels. In a large baking pan, pour half the sauce into the pan. Place pretzels on top of the mixture and then pour the rest of the mixture on top of the pretzels. Mix well until all pretzels are coated and spread out pretzels in a single layer. Bake in a 350 degree oven for about 30-40 minutes, stirring twice. Allow to cool completely before enjoying. Store in an airtight container.

You will also enjoy: